A Children, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court in Awka, Anambra State capital has sentenced a 42-year-old woman, identified as Victoria Enwerem, to 12-year imprisonment for stealing five children.
NIGERIACRIME gathered that the convict perpetrated the act in the Onitsha part of the state.
The stolen children, five of them, were between the ages of three to 10 years old.
Enwerem was arraigned over a-3 count charge of conspiracy to steal children; fraudulently enticing away and habouring children and forcefully isolating the children from lawful possession of their parents.
The offences are punishable under Criminal Code, Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991, and Violence Against Persons (Prohibition and Protection) Laws of Anambra State, 2017 respectively.
While delivering the judgment on Wednesday, the presiding Chief Magistrate, Genevieve Osakwe, stated that the defendant had been found guilty of all the three charges brought against her.
READ ALSO: Court Restrains Seplat CEO From Carrying Out Official Duties Over alleged Racism
The presiding chief magistrate, therefore, stated that based on the oral testimonies of the defendant herself and the submissions of the plaintiff witnesses, as well as other material placed before the court, in respect of the case, there were overwhelming pieces of evidence against the defendant, and that the prosecutor had proved his case beyond reasonable doubts.
The defendant was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment in count 1; 8 years imprisonment in count 2; and a term of 6 months imprisonment in count 3.
Her Worship declared that all sentences would run concurrently without option of fine.
Speaking on the development, the police prosecutor, Victoria Enwerem (Anosike) told the court that in September 2022, the convict conspired with one Oluchi Ahamefula, now at large, to steal children at popular MCC Junction, Onitsha, with a view to moving the children to unknown destination.
According to the prosecutor, the defendant was caught by some police officers on stop and search operation at Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the State.
“She was granted bail but jumped bail and was later tracked and apprehended at a remote part of Ebonyi State, in possession of two other underaged kids who she allegedly stole from their parents.
“It was later discovered that she had continued her business of stealing children, while hiding in the State,” he said.
The Anambra Women and Social Welfare Commissioner, Ify Obinabo expressed joy over speedy trial of the case, assuring her ministry’s collaboration with her Portharcourt counterpart to ensure the concerned orphanage was sealed to save unsuspecting members of the public.